THE ACCIDENTAL HIGH FLYER
Written on the 2 November 2015 by Paris Faint
WHILE searching for a better way to cast his fishing line, Lukeuce Kleinschmidt didn't expect to snag a successful business idea instead.
The entrepreneur found a hi-tech solution to his angling woes in the form of remotely controlled aerial drones, products which have since become the cornerstone of his company.
Kleinschmidt's business Egofun specialises in the sale and hire of electric propulsion systems including skateboards, segways and bicycles.
Despite being established just last year, Egofun's recent expansion into electrical aviation and surveillance has sent the business soaring.
"My background came from nothing to do with the drone industry, but rather in the electrical engineering side of things with the skateboards and other lifestyle products," says Kleinschmidt.
"I came across the idea of electrical aviation while I was looking for some mechanism which could carry my fishing line out and drop it in the right spot in the water."
This simple idea has turned the heads of organisations such as Surf Lifesaving Australia and Rio Tinto.
The Gold Coast City Council is currently investigating the feasibility of drones as a first response unit to beach emergencies, using machines to carry lifebuoys out to swimmers in danger.
Alongside Yuneec Electrical Aviation, Kleinschmidt is also working with surveillance and control teams in adapting drones to scour beaches for sharks, dropping a strong repellent formula whenever danger is sighted.
"After meeting up with Yuneec the idea has gone a bit crazy, with the product becoming adapted with infrared shark repellents and tracking devices," says Kleinschmidt.
"Our ideas are now becoming a reality and I do believe they're going to help everyone in one way or another in their lifespan."
With a shopfront in Townsville, Egofun also supplies drones to farmers in North Queensland.
"Our drones have really hit the market up there as well because the farmers are able to use the drones to muster up the cattle and survey their crops and land this technology has so many different applications," says Kleinschmidt.
It hasn't been an easy ride, with Kleinschmidt saying he has been wary about who he shares his ideas with.
"The biggest challenge I had was dealing with the Chinese manufacturer to make sure I don't get bitten on the bum when I send this off, making sure people don't pinch my ideas on a mass-production scale," he says.
"It was important to build a very strong relationship with these people, and getting them to help with the ideas and getting mass production into their factory without worry and still able to release it to the Gold Coast and Australia before anywhere else in the world.
"We have built some very good relationships between Australia and China, however we're trying to keep the process as local as possible with companies in Melbourne doing manufacturing and 3D printing."
Kleinschmidt says he aims to set up more stores and further develop Egofun's national profile.
Author: Paris Faint